OWENSBORO, Ky. (11/21/13) - Kentucky’s Area Development Districts have partnered with the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy, and Kentucky Agricultural Council to launch the Kentucky Agricultural Development Information System (KADIS).
The KADIS will become the state’s first interactive agricultural asset map, designed to identify agricultural trends within the state, plan for disaster mitigation, and drive economic development efforts.
“As part of an effort to incorporate agriculture into the area development districts’ current economic development framework, a unified, comprehensive catalogue of Kentucky’s current agricultural assets was needed,” Chris Sutton, Executive Director of the Pennyrile Area Development District and chair of the Kentucky Area Development District Agriculture Committee, said.
The project is being funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and is being carried out by the state’s 15 area development districts.
“The KADIS is the first of its kind in Kentucky and in the region,” Phil Paradice, Jr., Regional Director for the Atlanta Regional Office of the Economic Development Administration, said. “There is great potential for economic growth and disaster planning and mitigation in this project, and we look to use this project as a model going forward in our work with other states in the Southeast.”
The map will be interactive and regularly updated, allowing users to access data specific to their area as well as statewide data. The map will feature a wide range of information, from crops and livestock to facilities and land zoning regulations, and more.
“I believe agriculture can and should be a major driver of economic development, especially in Kentucky’s rural communities,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “This system will provide policy makers and businesses with the data they need to make smart decisions that will promote economic growth through agriculture. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is pleased to participate in this project.”
The project kicks off this week with Area Development District staff beginning to combine existing data and gather new data out in the field using their existing GIS capabilities.
“In the Kentucky Agricultural Council’s most recent strategic plan, tying economic development to traditional agriculture policy was a specific priority. This project perfectly aligns with that mission and we are excited to support this timely project,” Dr. Tony Brannon, Chairman of the Kentucky Agricultural Council and Dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State University, said.
The Area Development Districts will incorporate the data from the project into their regular Community and Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) process as part of a sustainability plan for the project beyond the 18-month timeline.
“The KADIS will be a tool used over and over, as the Commonwealth plans for its future in agriculture We are excited about the strong partnership that has developed between these groups,” Roger Thomas, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy, said “I am particularly happy that that the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund could be a part of this project.”
Information Provided by Woody Maglinger
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